Not with a robbery, but with a climate protest involving a famous painting. But unlike previous incidents, which involved soup and mashed potatoes, this time a protester glued his head to Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring in Amsterdam’s Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.
In a video posted on Twitter, you can see a man glue his head onto the artwork. Then another man, standing beside him, pours a canned red substance onto the first man’s head. Both were wearing “Just Stop Oil” t-shirts, just like previous museum-associated climate protesters.
However, a spokesperson for the group told Fortune that it did not organize the protest involving the Vermeer painting.
Just Stop Oil, which was involved in previous art-related incidents, is urging the U.K.’s government to stop its licensing of fossil fuel exploration, development, and production. Earlier this month, members of the coalition threw tomato soup onto a Vincent van Gogh painting at London’s National Gallery and chocolate cake onto a wax figure of King Charles at Madame Tussauds in London to bring attention to their cause.
When asked for comment about the Vermeer incident, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil told Fortune that they supported the protest.
“We applaud those ordinary everyday people who refuse to stand by and who step up to act,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. “Ending new oil and gas, our demand is supported across the world. If we don’t stop the harm caused by burning fossil fuels there will be no one to look [at] the masterpieces, at our shared art that are displayed in our museums.”
In the video, the protester who didn’t glue his head onto the painting can be heard asking the people around them: “How do you feel? How do you feel when you see something beautiful and priceless being apparently destroyed before your eyes? Do you feel outraged? Good. Where is that feeling when you see the planet being destroyed before our very eyes?”
People around the protesters in the museum can be heard saying “No,” calling the men “stupid,” and their actions “obscene.”
Like Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting that protesters dumped soup on earlier this month, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring was encased in glass, meaning the protester did not glue his head directly to the canvas, and the museum confirmed that it was not damaged.
Nevertheless, the Amsterdam museum housing The Girl with a Pearl Earring published a statement denouncing the protesters.
“Art is defenceless and the Mauritshuis strongly rejects trying to damage it for whatever purpose,” the museum said in a statement.
Holland’s junior minister of culture, Gunay Uslu, echoed the museum, writing on Twitter that “demonstrating is a great thing and everyone has the right to make a point. But please: leave our shared heritage alone. Attacking defenseless works of art is not the right way.”
Dutch police said Thursday they arrested three men in their 40s “after public violence to goods,” in relation to the incident.
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